• When to take your child to the ER for an orthopedic injury

    Kids love to run, jump and climb, but testing the limits of their physical abilities can result in injuries. You can treat minor bumps and bruises at home with basic first aid supplies and a hug. But when your child needs medical attention, you can count on the children’s emergency care team at Sunrise Children’s Hospital . Our physicians and specialists will help your little one feel better quickly.

    When a body part looks disfigured
    If your child has taken a tumble and is showing signs of discomfort, check the injured body part to see if it looks normal. The pediatric orthopedist in the accompanying video explains that possible disfigurement definitely necessitates a trip to the ER.

    Bone fractures are among the most common pediatric emergencies. When kids fall down on the playground , they usually do so with their arms outstretched. This is a natural instinct to break the fall, but it can result in a wrist or elbow fracture.

    Not all bone fractures result in a visible deformity. Take your child to the ER if he or she has:

    • Swelling
    • Bruising
    • Tenderness
    • Pain

    When your child has problems using a body part
    Difficulty using a body part or placing weight on it can indicate a bone fracture, but in some cases, it may be a sprain instead. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched too far.

    Sprains aren’t terribly common in young children, as the ligaments generally have greater strength than the nearby body parts. When they do occur, the ankles, knees and wrists are most often affected.

    The symptoms of a sprain are similar to those of a fracture:

    • Pain
    • Swelling
    • Difficulty using the body part
    • Difficulty putting weight on the body part

    When your child has been bitten by an animal
    Another common orthopedic emergency is animal bites. A pediatric doctor should evaluate your child if he or she sustains a bite from a dog, other domesticated animal or wild animal. Even if the teeth did not break the skin, it’s possible that the underlying tendons, ligaments, nerves and muscles sustained damage.

    A pediatric orthopedist can evaluate your child for musculoskeletal trauma. Your child may also need a tetanus and/or rabies shot.

    Family-centered emergency care is available 24/7, every day of the year at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Our pediatric specialists in Las Vegas are compassionate and highly trained individuals who understand the unique physical and emotional needs of our young patients. Call 911 for true medical emergencies, or call our hospital at (702) 233-5437 for general information.

  • Teach your children why handwashing is so important

    Along with getting your child vaccinated, teaching him or her how and when to wash their hands is an effective way to guard against illnesses. Handwashing is important for everyone, but especially so for children since they tend to put their fingers in their mouths. Young kids are also generally more willing to touch potentially dirty objects than adults. If you’re having trouble convincing your little one to wash his or her hands, talk to a pediatric physician at Sunrise Children’s Hospital . We’re always here to help.

    Singing a song
    Singing the “Happy Birthday” song is a common technique parents and daycare providers use to convince kids to wash their hands. Your child will need to sing it twice to get to the recommended 20 seconds. Alternatively, sing the ABCs with your child to reinforce literacy skills and encourage cleanliness.

    Using a handwashing chart
    Just about every parent of a young child is familiar with the concept of motivational charts and stickers. Create a large chart that displays the times at which your child should wash his or her hands. Give your child a gold star each time he or she washes up without having to be reminded.

    If your child is still working on learning how to read, use pictures instead of words on the chart. These pictures or words should indicate washing up:

    • After going to the bathroom
    • Before eating
    • After petting animals
    • After sneezing or coughing
    • After returning home from school

    Applying glitter to your child’s hands
    Some parents dread glitter because it gets everywhere, but this characteristic will help teach kids about the importance of handwashing . Shake some glitter on your child’s hands. If you have multiple children, use a different color of glitter for each.

    Have your children shake hands, and walk around touching various objects or doing simple activities. After a few minutes, point out all the places where the glitter ended up.

    Talk about how germs are like glitter, because they easily transfer from place to place. Then, have your children scrub the glitter off their hands to teach them about the effort required to thoroughly wash up.

    Patient-focused, superior care is our top priority here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Our pediatric specialists in Las Vegas provide a comprehensive range of family medicine and specialty services, including emergency care, heart care and cancer care. You can get in touch with a registered nurse at our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437.

  • Which toys present the biggest choking hazards for kids?

    The holiday season is exciting for parents who are looking forward to seeing the delight on their children’s faces when they open their gifts. Unfortunately, not all toys are safe for kids. Even if your baby or toddler receives a toy that is indicated for his or her age range, you should check it for possible choking hazards. At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, our children’s emergency care providers encourage all parents to learn how to administer infant CPR and the pediatric Heimlich maneuver .

    Toys with small parts

    Babies and toddlers are incredibly curious, and they like to explore objects by putting them in their mouths. It’s all too easy for a toy with small parts—or with parts that are easily broken off—to choke a child. Test each toy your child receives to ensure its safety.

    Children’s emergency care physicians recommend purchasing a choking hazard tester. Try to put all sides and parts of the toy through this cylinder, and if any of them fit, the toy is a choking hazard. Alternatively, you could use a depleted toilet paper roll.

    Compressible toys

    Some objects, such as toy balls, might seem perfectly safe for kids. However, some of these are compressible, which would allow a curious child to fit the object into the mouth. Keep these toys away from your child.

    Impromptu toys

    Often, the most dangerous toys aren’t toys at all. Emergency care doctors recommend crawling through each room of your home to examine potential threats from your baby’s perspective. Ensure that the floor and easily reached areas are free of hazards like the following:

    • Coins
    • Pen caps
    • Bottle caps
    • Buttons
    • Batteries

    Toy packaging

    Toy packaging is often overlooked as a choking hazard. Before giving your child any new toy, inspect it carefully for plastic wrap and foam padding.

    It’s common for toy manufacturers to add a nearly invisible layer of film to the mirrors on children’s toys to guard against scratches. This film is a documented choking hazard .


    Balloons are recognized as a major choking hazard by ER physicians. Never leave a young child unattended with a latex balloon or a deflated balloon. Even older children may choke on the broken pieces of a popped balloon, and it’s possible for them to inhale a balloon that they’re trying to inflate.

    At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, we’re committed to healthcare excellence because we believe families in our community deserve the best of care. You can rely on our children’s emergency care team in Las Vegas if your child suffers a medical problem. For non-emergent inquiries only, call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5437.